DeLaval at the NMC

During its first ever meeting in Europe the National Mastitis Council (the NMC) took place in Europe. This year’s hosts were the University of Ghent in Ghent, Belgium. 41,000 students are enrolled at the University of Ghent which is comprised of 11 faculties and 120 departments including the department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety.

The majority of the meeting took place within the universities’ assembly hall. The space was of a neo classical design by Louis Roelandt and completed in 1826

The Meeting was divided into two-a scientific and a technical program. Registrants were also able to go on excursions to both a dairy farm and cheese factory. Attendees came from both near and far with over 40 different countries represented. Although he has yet to go through the official numbers, first time NMC organiser Sarne De Vilegher, suspects that it might be the NMC’s most well attended one yet. De Vilegher was extremely pleased, believing the mixture of scientific, technical and social events as key to the success of the meeting. “We hope that attendees continue their involvement with the NMC after the meeting or that they sustain an existing membership” says NMC President John Middelton, and adds “Most of all we hope they enjoyed the conference and took home some new knowledge!”

The scientific program was filled with informative updates on treatment programs, dry cow management, immunity and mastitis. The technical program contained short courses and industrial seminars.

DeLaval’s seminar “Proper Milk Extraction: Methods and Technologies”. Speakers included Andrew Bradley who presented “Teat Prep Procedure and Cleaning Disinfection Procedure”, Nils Älveby who spoke on “Liner type and Impact on Teat Health, Milk Yield and Udder Health. Rupert Bruckmaier reported on the effects of “Vacuum Dynamics on Milking, Teat Condition and Udder Health”. The seminar was brought to a close after Tom Hemling delivered his presentation on “Post Milking Disinfection Option, Opportunities and Issues.”

Seminar moderator and DeLaval’s Dairy Development Director Charlotte Hallén Sandgren is clear on why DeLaval should participate in the NMC. “NMC is international and looks closely at milk quality and emphasizes the importance of further education and training for its members. For instance this year there was a lot focus on the reduction of antibiotic use in cattle and what that will entail- an important issue for the dairy industry. It’s about knowledge sharing, something that we try and do at DeLaval”.  Nils Älveby a Polymers Specialist at DeLaval agrees with this point. “NMC events are mostly attended by veterinarians, they work very closely with farmers and when they share their insights the meeting becomes another forum for us as a company to better understand the needs of dairy producers.”